The 2018 season is coming to a close as the BSB paddock gear up to head over sea’s to Assen for the penultimate round of the championship where Jake Dixon will be looking to reel in Leon Haslam.
Leon Haslam heads into Assen with a 31 point advantage over fellow Kawasaki rider and Moto2 bound Jake Dixon after what was a dominant Oulton Park round from Lee Hardy’s RAF Regular and Reserves Kawasaki rider.
Assen was added to the British Superbike calendar in 2012 and with 3 wins each Josh Brookes and Leon Haslam are the most successful riders around the Cathedral of speed.
Assen has rapid changes in direction and is fully surrounded by grass banks and grandstands, providing excellent viewing for the thousands of spectators who visit. A huge favourite with riders, Assen is known for its festive and extravagant atmosphere.
As well as this Assen can throw up some surprise’s with the weather, just look back to the 2016 MotoGP with the heavy rain which brought some surprise results with it.
Despite its short life on the calendar we have already seen some electrifying races around the Cathedral, with Alex Lowes coming together with Shakey Bryne into the Ramshoek leaving the 6x British champion on the floor.
Along with this we also had the titanic scrap between Haslam and Bryne in 2016, a race that saw Haslam come out on top by just 0.010s.
We also had the drama of Tommy Hill crashing on the grid when his Swann Yamaha made contact with a mechanic, sending Tommy over the handlebars of his R1 Yamaha.
More recently it was the scene of Sylvain Guintoli bagging Suzuki’s first win in British Superbikes since Josh Waters took victory in Assen 2014.
After a fall in the 2nd race at Oulton Park, Bradley Ray will need to hope he can recreate the performance Sylvain Guintoli of last year in order to get his championship back on track to leapfrog Josh Brookes and Glenn Irwin in the championship.
With both Josh and Glenn joint on points in the championship, the fight is well and truly on between the McAms Yamaha, PBM Ducati, Buildbase Suzuki and the Smiths BMW of Peter Hickman who are all separated by just 6 points.
Glenn Irwin will be hoping to end the season on a high after announcing. his deal with Kawasaki earlier today.
The fight for the riders’ cup is hottening up as Jason O’Halloran sits 7 points clear of Yamaha rookie Tarran Mackenzie. FS-3 Kawasaki will return to the grid in Assen after Danny Buchan was forced to sit out the two races at Oulton Park after a serious crash in Datatag qualifying, the Essex rider is just 1 point behind Mackenzie with Iddon a further one point behind Buchan as the Tyco rider looks to retain the riders’ cup title.
After being the 14th different podium finisher this year, Tommy Bridewell and the Moto Rapido Ducati team are fired up ahead of this weekend as they aim to repeat there performance and to pass Iddon who is again, one point ahead.
Despite winning the championship, without the showdown system in place, last time out at Oulton Park, this weekend is Leon Haslam’s first official opportunity to clinch the Bennetts British Superbike title at this weekend’s Dutch BSB.
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